Short Leash On Phil

Ed Price checks in with an interesting tidbit after speaking to CC Sabathia:

CC Sabathia says he is available in relief tomorrow for #Yankees. “I can probably throw 45 pitches, 50.”

While I hope that the need for CC does not present itself and that Phil Hughes can hand a lead directly to the primary relievers, this bit of information does highlight the way Joe Girardi needs to manage Game 6. With CC available for about 2 innings and the entire bullpen rested, Joe Girardi needs to have a very quick hook with Phil Hughes. If Phil starts to look shaky, puts a few runners on, and allows a run or two, a reliever needs to be ready to take his place and stop the bleeding.

In an elimination game, there is no use in planning for tomorrow. If Hughes needs to be pulled in the 3rd to keep the game in reach, Girardi must do so. If the situation calls for two innings from both Wood and Rivera, Girardi must do so.… Click here to read the rest

CC "Bended," Didn't Break

CC Sabathia did not have his best stuff yesterday. In 6 long innings he allowed 11 hits, and frequently fell behind hitters because he could not locate most of his pitches. However, in the immortal words of Rangers manager Ron Washington, the Rangers had Sabathia bended, but he did not break. He did not walk any batters, and allowed just two extra base hits. In this way he was able to scatter baserunners over his 6 innings and allow just 2 runs. Let’s take a look at the key outs he got in this game and how he got them.

Top 1: 0 outs, Andrus on 1st, Young at plate:

Elvis Andrus reached to lead off the game, and it looked like the Yankees might be in for another poor first inning. CC threw 5 fastballs to Young, with the first two being high and the next two hitting the outside corner. The 5th came inside for the first time since the first pitch of the AB, and Young pulled it to short, where Jeter started a double play.… Click here to read the rest

Sabathia dodges high-stakes sixth

Up until yesterday I haven’t felt such baseball-related anxiety since the 2004 postseason. My palms were actually sweating despite the Yankees having a 6-1 lead heading into the sixth. I suppose that’s the natural reaction for a fan watching his team teeter on the precipice of elimination. Unfortunately, my angst was not unwarranted and the Rangers proved that in the sixth inning. However, Yankees ace CC Sabathia was able to mitigate the damage and bring the game one step closer to Mariano Rivera. Here’s a breakdown of what transpired.

Proven Yankee-Masher Vladimir Guerrero came to the plate. CC’s very first pitch was a fastball located in the lower right quadrant of the strike zone. However, it didn’t paint the corner and Vlad was able to make pretty good contact on the ball. Fortunately for Sabathia and the Yankees, the ball sailed foul. The second pitch was another fastball up and away (clearly outside of the strike zone). Once again, Vlad fouled off the pitch.… Click here to read the rest

The 1958 Yankees

We’ve heard it a bunch of times over the last few days: the last time the New York Yankees were down 3-1 in a series was in the 1958 World Series, which they came back in and won. I’m not saying the 2010 Yankees are guaranteed to do that in the ALCS, but I’m still pretty confident in their chances. Yes, that’s pollyanna-ish optimism, but I don’t care.

Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to delve into the 1958 Yankees and see what they were all about.

The team featured a lot of recognizable names, led on the offensive side by Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and Bob Turley and Whitey Ford on the pitching side. The team also fielded an aging Enos Slaughter, who managed to put up a 133 OPS+ as a 42 year old in 160 PA.

Predictably, Mickey Mantle led the offense. He had the best average (.304), OBP (.443), SLG (.592), OPS (1.035), OPS+ (188), most total bases (307), stolen bases (18), home runs (42), RBI (97).… Click here to read the rest

Inside Sabathia's Game 5 outing

Though it wasn’t a vintage performance, CC Sabathia reminded everyone why he’s one of the best pitchers in the game last night, keeping the Rangers at bay over a two-run, six-inning performance, and extending the Yankees’ season by at least one more game. Regardless of what happens in this series, it was electrifying to see Sabathia put the team on his broad shoulders and limit the damage while the bats finally came alive, and I’m just glad there’s still more Yankee baseball to be played. Matt will have more later breaking down the critical sixth inning, but here’s an overall look at Sabathia’s outing.

Per Brooks, here’s a breakdown of what Sabathia threw:

Randomly, Sabathia threw the exact same number of four-seamers and sinkers that Burnett did on Tuesday, though being Sabathia he got more strikes with his fastball than Burnett did. On the postgame Michael Kay said he thought Sabathia’s fastball topped out at 93mph, but according to this data CC did get it up to 95mph, with an average speed of 93.… Click here to read the rest

Horse

I was wondering when the real 2010 Yankees were finally gonna show up.

The Yankees — riding a far-from-dominant but still-plenty-competitive outing by CC Sabathia — finally erupted on offense after a three-game stretch in which they scored only five runs, beating the Rangers 7-2 to stay alive for another game in the American League Championship Series.

Sabathia gave the team six innings of seven-strikeout, two-run ball, significantly managing to limit the damage despite giving up 11 Ranger hits. C.J. Wilson was much less sharp than he’d been in Game 1, allowing six runs (five earned) over six innings, walking four while striking out only two. While Wilson is a very talented pitcher, this was exactly the type of outing I expected the team with the best OBP in the league to have against the pitcher who walked the most batters in the league.

The Yankees got on the board early (for once), tagging Wilson for three in the second, as consecutive singles by Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson scored Alex Rodriguez and Lance Berkman, who had drawn walks, and Posada himself.… Click here to read the rest

ALCS Game Five: Rangers 2, Yankees 7

The Yankees continued to pour it on in the bottom of the third.  Nick Swisher lead off the inning with a solo homer to left.  Robinson Cano then followed with his own homer, giving the Yankees a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Sabathia, who was not his best, but was certainly solid, found himself in trouble in the fifth.  A solo homer by Matt Treanor gave the Rangers their first run of the game.  Mitch Moreland followed with a single and Sabathia struck out Elvis Andrus for the first out of the inning.  A single by Michael Young gave the Rangers two on with one out, but Sabathia got Josh Hamilton to ground into a double play, ending the inning.  The Yankees got the run back in the bottom of the inning.  Nick Swisher walked and found himself on third after Alex Rodriguez hit a ground-rule double.  Marcus Thames was intentionally walked and Berkman drove a sac fly to center, giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.… Click here to read the rest

Changing The Narrative

“Still Life”.  No, not the painting, the Yanks. And not still alive as in still technically in the series.  Still alive as in still able to win this series.  From Yahoo Sports: “The [Yankees] team is more than capable of a comeback.”  The ESPN recap: “A difficult comeback? Yes. Impossible? No.”  No?  Well, maybe. This is nothing more than a description of where things stand when a series stands at 3 games to 2, but just to remind you, this is a much different narrative than the one we were reading this morning.  For example, Steve Politi this morning at nj.com: game 4 was “almost certainly the dramatic end to the 2010 season.”

The “Fighting Yanks”. From RAB: CC gave the Yanks “six hard-fought innings.” From Andrew Marchand at ESPN: “The Yankees live to fight another day. If they go out in the LCS, they aren’t going to go out lying down.”   The Philly Inquirer: the Yanks played “like 27-time world champions with their backs to the wall”.… Click here to read the rest